The Popular Crowd - Chapter six
Frodo: What are you doing?!?!?!
Danny: Chill out dude! We're just eating.
Frodo: Put it out, you fools! Put it out!
Frod ran and stomped out the fire as quick as he could.
Pippin: Well, that's nice. Ash on my tomatoes!
Ruby: You idiots! Didn't it even occur to you that a fire could attract....
(high pitched shriek)
Ruby:........A Nazgul! Oh goody!
All eight of them ran to the edge and saw the black figures approaching.
They all pulled out their swords and ran to the to the top. The teens were shaking even more than the hobbits. This was fear if any of them ever felt it. Laura thought she was going to throw up, Danny tried to put on a brave face, but wasn't doing a very good job, and Zack was nearly in tears. Ruby said a silent prayer under her breath.
The Nazgul appeared from the darkness of the night. They slowly walked toward where the hobbits and the teens huddled together, trying to keep their swords steady. Laura couldn't take it any longer, and she ran away screaming. The wraiths took no notice of her. The only one they wanted was Frodo. They continued to walk toward the group and they raised their sword preparing to strike.
Sam: Back you devils!
Sam ran at them but they were too powerful for a little hobbit and they pushed him aside. Danny and Zack, overcome by fear, ran away like Laura. Merry and Pippin stood in front of Frodo and Ruby, but they were also pushed aside. It was just Ruby and Frodo now.
Ruby stood as tall as she could. She starred up at the Nazgul with a defiant look. (she first used that look in first grade when her Sunday school teacher took her doll away. Of course she also growled at the teacher, but she wasn't growling now. ) She was prepared to fight if need be, but the dark creature pushed her away too. But she stood up immediately and ran back to Frodo.
Ruby: Don't you touch him!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
But it was of no use. This time the wraith hit her so hard she fell to the ground unconscious. Frodo now stood alone and defenseless. The Ring took advantage of his fear and he was lured to put it on.
The other hobbits weren't sure what to do. Should they stay where they are? Go help Frodo? Go help Ruby? What? Ruby came to senses and looked to see that Frodo had vanished and the Witch King had his blade raised ready to strike at what appeared to be nothing. Ruby griped her sword tightly. Furry rose up inside her. She ran toward them, hoping to stop them from hurting her Frodo. She cried out as she ran.
She got there just in time to feel the icy cold blade pierce her right shoulder. The wraith didn't have time to notice that had hit the wrong person. Ruby just cried out the name of Elbereth and she fell to the ground in pain. She wanted to stand up so she could protect Frodo, but she felt completely paralyzed. She knew this would happen but she didn't expect it to hurt so much. Her mind was spinning. She couldn't feel anything. The ground seemed to slip from underneath her. She felt herself falling into darkness. She heard what sounded like a battle cry, she assumed was Strider.
Ruby: God, please help me.
And then she knew no more.
Ruby slowly opened her eyes, half fearing to see the Black Riders looming over her. But instead she saw her favorite hobbit sitting beside her, gently caressing her fore-head.
Frodo: Hi. Oh my darling. I was afraid you'd never wake up.
Ruby: I'm all right. Its just my arm hurts like.....
Pippin: Ruby. Your all right.
Ruby: Well, in a manner of speaking....
Before Ruby could finish all seven of them were around her saying how overjoyed they were that she was awake. They told her what had happened since she fell. Ruby already knew what had happened but she listened intently anyway.
While they were talking Strider appeared out of the shadows. He surprised them and Sam drew his sword.
Strider: I am not a Black Rider Sam, nor in league with them. I have been trying to discover something of their movements; but I have found nothing. I cannot think why they have gone and do not attack again. But there is no feeling of their presence anywhere at hand.
Strider listened as Ruby told him her part of the story. He only grew more worried then. He gave the other's orders to heat some water and bathe the wound, keep Ruby worm, and watch over her. Then he disappeared again into the night and wasn't to return till morning.
Ruby tried to sleep a they took care of her. She couldn't help but be reminded of her and Frodo's first night together. Sitting around the campfire he had built, while he told her who she was, or at least who he thought she was, and she told him about America. But the thing she would never forget about that night was the way he had hugged her, even though, as far as she knew, they had never met. But he looked after her as though she were his little sister and he explained what had happened, why she had disappeared and come back again. Of course it was many years before he told her that it was he who had lost her in the first place. But that is a story for another chapter.
Ruby was lying very quietly trying to get some sleep. The others were being quiet for her sake, they talked in hushed voices to each other, she guessed about her. She hated it when people talked about her right in front of her, especially when she couldn't hear what they were saying. She wanted so badly to sit up and talk to them but she couldn't move. Her arm ached too much. It occurred to her that it would probably hurt her for the rest of her life. That sucked. But was worth it if Frodo didn't have to hurt. Out of all the displeasure's in all the world, watching Frodo suffer was the one she hated most. If she had her way, Frodo would always be smiling, never sad. But she knew it wouldn't be so. Ruby let out a sad sigh and cuddled closer into her cloak.
Frodo: Are you warm enough, Ru?
Ruby: I'm fine.
Frodo: Ruby, I'm so sorry. This is all my fault. If I hadn't put on that accursed Ring, this wouldn't have happened to you.
Ruby: Fro, there's nothing you could have done. I made a choice, that choice was nobody else's but mine. And your nobody else's but mine. It would hurt me more if it was you in my position.
Frodo: Didn't it occur to you that it hurts me to watch you suffer? I love you so much. If any thing ever happened to you, and you were taken away from me, I don't know what I would do. And now because of me, because of my mistake, your in pain. That's going to be on my conscience for all eternity.
Ruby: Oh, I hope not. The past is gone Frodo, and we can't waist what time we have left on dwelling on it. Sigh, groan, and move on. You have to watch out for your self and not just me. You have a important mission to carry out. You must get that ring safely to Rivendell. How are you to do that if you only think of me? If I die, you'll feel bad for awhile but eventually you'll get over it. But if you die, Middle Earth will be taken over by Sauron and this world will become just like America. Every one will be greedy and selfish, and immoral. And their will be no peace.
Frodo let out a heavy sigh and realized the truth of what Ruby said.
Ruby: Hey sunshine. Cheer up. Everything is going to be fine. I promise. I'm not leaving you any time soon. We have to much to do. Just relax. Get some sleep. I'll still be here when you wake up. All this talking has worn poor little me out.
Strider returned just as dawn was approaching. He showed them the hilt of the knife that had pierced Ruby. He bathed the wound in Athelas and for a while the pain eased, but she still could not walk. She had to ride the pony. She didn't mind that though. She always had loved riding.
The Teens didn't complain that they had to carry even more luggage. That was a bit of a surprise. And don't think it was because of their little plan. They really did feel truly guilty for just running away the way they had that night on Weathertop. They also felt a bit more respect for Ruby. What she had done was brave and selfless. And even they had to tip their hats to her. They had no idea she loved Frodo that much. They thought she just said it to get him to kiss her or something . But indeed she loved him enough to risk her life just so he wouldn't have to go through so much pain. Even they agreed that such bravery should be honored and revered.
Laura: I didn't think it was this serious.
Danny: None of us did Laura. Even the hobbits didn't.
Zack: Its not a game any more.
Danny: It never was a game. We just thought it was.
Laura: You don't think Ruby is going to die, do you?
Danny: Ruby has a strong spirit, as we all know. She wont give up without a fight. She isn't one to put her hands up and surrender.
Laura: I guess I kinda feel guilty, you know.
Zack: Me too. And I'm not used to that feeling. I wish it would go away.
Laura: But Danny, this changes everything. Are we still going on with our plan?
Danny: This changes nothing. Yes, we are. We'll wait till she's recovered though. That way we can do it with a clean conscience.
Laura: Danny, I was just thinking. Ruby controls the portholes. If she dies, we're stuck here.
Danny: I hadn't thought of that. We can't let that happen now. We have to help take care of her all we can.
Zack: That just seems kinda twisted. Treat her like a princess and then make her grovel.
Danny: We don't have a choice. Our survival could depend on it.
They had been riding in silence for a long while. It didn't comfort Ruby much to think that it would be like this for about two weeks more. Plus the thought occurred to her that Frodo may have survived this wound in the book, but what if she couldn't be as strong as him? She tried not to think like that. Every now and again Strider or one of the Hobbits would walk beside her and ask her how she was doing. She tried to make them think she was okay, but she wasn't that good of a actress. So she tried to think about other stuff: Her friends back in the Shire: Rosie, Diamond, Estella. Her friends in America. As she thought of them she laughed a little.
Frodo: What are you laughing at, Beautiful?
Ruby: I was just thinking about my friends Lori and Caity back in America, and what they would say if they had followed me here instead of these three. They would freak out.
Frodo: Are they the sisters you told me of who are in your group at church?
Ruby: Yes, I can just see them slapping my hand for keeping this a secret from them. They'd be like "Bad Ruby! shame shame!" Especially if they found out about you and me. But despite their excessive sillyness, they are some of my best friends in America. I wish just once I could have all my friends together. The human and the hobbit. Diamond would love to meet them, I know it. But they cant know about this other life I'm living. I fear I will never see them again.
Frodo: I'm sure you will. Don't think such sad thoughts now. That won't help any thing.
Ruby: I know. Its just now , more than ever with this wound, I miss my friends, so much more than I ever thought I would. It makes this journey all the more difficult for me. Thank God I have you.